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BBC Tests Pre-Commercial Toshiba Fuel Cell Laptop 138

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fill-er-up dept.
nbannerman writes "Fuel cells have been talked about a lot recently, but Toshiba have finally demonstrated a working model. The BBC News website provides some interesting background on fuel cells, but does carrying a warning for the future; 'Toshiba's phase one fuel cell shows how near, but also how far, the version is from being a commercial reality.'"
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BBC Tests Pre-Commercial Toshiba Fuel Cell Laptop

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  • I'm all set to dish out $6000+ for it.
    • Dear Tomoaki Arimura (pictured in the linked article), As a general rule, the tip of one's tie should come to about the edge his pants.

      Off-topic of course, but I couldn't help it. Is he trying to polish his shoes with that thing, or...? Sorry, mod me down if you really need to.

      Oh, fuel cells are cool. Your car wants one.
    • Hmm...a gas powered laptop! great! When will this energy efficient improvement hit the automobile market....oh....wait....

      I guess fuelcell is a little bit better than regular gas engines, but what is wrong with batteries? (electricity can be made in bulk, cutting waste, and hell, they could create that with fuelcell technology.
      • what is wrong with batteries?

        Two words: energy density. There is no battery technology currently available or in development, that I know of, which approaches the energy density of petrochemicals or methanol, and probably of compressed hydrogen as well. So there is a lot of interest in producing a compact power source which runs on a high-density fuel, because you could increase the capacity of the computer's power source beyond what would be practical on batteries.

        Right now, it seems like in laptops you ha
        • The big problem with fuel cells is that the real big reason to have a mobile laptop is travel, and there is no way airlines are going to let people get on a plane with fuel, something about explosives...

          I don't know if the laptop companies are thinking about this, but I tend to travel alot by plane with my laptop, and the fuel cells are probably quite dangerous in the wrong hands.
          • Listerine is like 30% ethanol anyway. Would anyone really notice if you had a small listerine bottle filled with more pure stuff?

            I don't think fuel cells will let you carry on anything you couldn't carry on anyway.
          • I doubt very much that they're any more dangerous than a cigarette lighter. Probably less so, if they use a liquid fuel (methanol) instead of a compressed flammable gas, or a liquid fuel that's pressurized with an inert gas. A bottle of methanol isn't any more dangerous than a bottle of alcohol-based aftershave, high-proof liquor, or spray deodorant. I could imagine that you might not be able to bring the refills on in your carryon baggage, but I'm willing to bet that if they became ubiquitous, being able t
        • Didn't someone have a design for a dime-sized rotary engine that ran off methanol? If you stuck a bit of magnetised ferrite into the lobes of the rotor of such a thing, you could wind a coil around the outside and it could double as a generator. There's be your energy density issue solved.

          Of course there'd be a minor issue of engine capacity escalation among competitors, noise regulations, smog, parking...

          Never mind.

      • You can't recharge battaries without access to electrical outlet. Try to recharge your laptop during a Moscow-Sidney flight.

        Besides, you can use a hybrid system: battery for the first 30-40 minutes and only then start fuel cells.
  • Refulling issue? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:17PM (#15438111)
    Am I the only one that dosn't want to be wandering around town looking for a means to refull my notebook? The only use I can think of for these things is a flash charger for my existing battery.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      What do you do when your battery fails now?
      Thats right, wander around until you find fuel(a.h.a Electricity)
    • I don't think H2 fuel cells will ever match the practicality of a simple backup alkaline battery pack. Just keep the alkaline pack with you and only plug it into the laptop for those times when you've pushed the internal battery too far.

      Most people would probably replace the alkaline cells less than once every 12 months. And even with very long periods between use, the alkalines will stay usable for 8 years.

      Contrast this with lugging around methanol cartridges which is A) a seriously scary toxin, B) another
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It is only a matter of time before some dry county distillers catch on to the idea, which will bring the whole new meaning to the term 'drinking and [hard]driving'.
  • 10 Hours (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ch-chuck (9622)
    A small, plastic, brick-shaped 100 millilitre cartridge with methanol fuel that looks like an ink-jet printer cartridge

    probably costs like an ink-jet printer cartridge too. But all it has to be is 'the best' and a certain class will be lining up to buy carts at $49.95 a pop, on company expense (think petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries).

    • That's exactley what I thought as well. Cost is something that needs to be convenient as well. These things would have to sell for real cheap in order for people to find it economical. I see this only being an extra power supply not a replacement.
    • Methanol is dirt-cheap (about $2 per one litre). One litre should be enough for 100 hours of continuous use, so price of fuel is not an issue.
  • by SockPuppet_9_5 (645235) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:26PM (#15438176) Journal
    Try getting THAT through airport security.
    • Exactly. Where am I going to be that I need this? Even 3rd class airline seats are coming with power slots for laptops, etc. Everywhere else I have computed in the past 10 years hasn't been very far from an electric outlet...
    • This was my first thought as well. Hopefully there is some option for detaching the fuel cell battery and popping in a traditional lithium battery for travel purposes. The main use I can see for this technology anyway is military in nature. If this delivers the duration they claim, it would be perfect for units in the field.
      • Fuel cell laptops might last longer, but I'd think that electricity is a lot better available in most parts of the world than methanol (electricity is already needed for a lot of things in "the field" and besides, a few spare batteries for a laptop are not the militaries most hard to get resource.
        • The Energy Density [wikipedia.org] of a Lithium ion Battery is .54-.72 MJ/kg. Compare that to methanol, which is 22.61 MJ/kg. In layman's terms, you get vastly more energy out of an equal size amount of methanol fuel. Now, you still have to factor in the size of the fuel cell, but carrying around 1 fuel cell with a tank of methanol is still preferable to carrying around 10 batteries! Also note that I'm not talking about field bases with generators available.
          • Good point, but obviously the energy density should not be the criterium, otherwise we might as well use the binding energy of helium [wikipedia.org] (675,000,000 MJ/kg).

            Efficiency, heat production and ease of transport and storing should be equal factors. And since lithium ion batteries have been around for much longer, I assume things like efficiency are better.

            But I look forward to see these alternative sources of energy become better and more common via the usual vicious circle; things become better->they beco
    • Try getting THAT through airport security.

      Perhaps it would be easier if they used ethanol fuel cells [physicsweb.org] as you could just board the plane with no fuel and then order a vodka or gin and pour it right in. (The real fun would begin when the lady in the next seat looks over in alarm and you just say, "Well, the poor little bugger doesn't like to fly, so I'm just giving him a little something to calm his nerves.")
  • How it works (Score:5, Informative)

    by ylikone (589264) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:30PM (#15438203) Homepage
    Fuel cells electrochemically convert fuel into electricity, without bothering with the awkward combustion process that dooms regular engines to inefficiency. The fuel that most currently workable fuel cells run on is hydrogen, which is a bit of a pain to store and transport. A device called a "reformer" can be used to convert methanol and water (much easier to store) into carbon dioxide and hydrogen, but reformer-based fuel cells aren't very efficient, and small models for portable electronic devices are less efficient still. "Direct methanol" fuel cells (DMFCs), on the other hand, run from un-reformed methanol. DMFCs are the things most likely to end up in your laptop or mobile phone. Learn more about fuel cells. [tinyurl.com]
  • Huge (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tx (96709) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:31PM (#15438210) Journal
    In terms of volume, it is around a litre and weighs about as much as the same measure of water.

    I actually thought they were a lot closer than this. From the photo, it actually looks larger than a litre, I'd say closer to 1.4. In any case, fucking huge, and nowhere near practical. They need to shrink it by more than an order of magnitude to be workable.
    • by TopSpin (753) *
      I actually thought they were a lot closer than this.

      I'm not surprised; fuel cell hype is rampant. It's a worthy pursuit but quite a way from actual consumer sales.

      That rather large device shown here is good for 10 hours running a pretty average laptop. The next generation prototype shown is a bit better, and just as unworkable for the bulk of the laptop market; too damn big.

      These are prototypes; give it half a decade of development and it could pay off.

    • Yeah, but have you considered the bonus of being able to use such a battery for self-defense purposes if necessary? You could probably put a good dent in an assailant's skull with that thing...
    • In any case, fucking huge, and nowhere near practical.

      Totally agree with you - I am not about to trade in my laptop for a different computer that has a 1 liter (or larger) fuel canister attached to it. Most of the /. crowd are probably in agreement on this.

      But you know who might find it practical? Anyone in the middle of nowhere, away from electric outlets, away from plugs. Field researchers, for instance, could really benefit from something like this. And powering your laptop or cell phone with a fuel cell
  • by lottameez (816335) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:31PM (#15438211)
    ..is that with a small adapter, you could use it to toast marshmallows at work. :-P

    huhmnnhuhhmhh ....marrssssshhhhhmmaaaallloooowwwsssss...huhmnhuh
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:34PM (#15438233)
    One of the things that jumped out at me was the thought "wow, this thing is very dependant on technology just to be safe!". From the article:

    The fuel cell is loaded with sensors. When suddenly picked up and shaken, anti-tamper sensors lock down the fuel cell to avoid leaks.

    As it produces heat from the reaction, internal sensors make sure that it does not overheat.


    What of the odds of those various sensors failing (and you know that they will for someone, somewhere) and what kinds of damage is caused when they do?
    • Think about some of the lighters that use butane and other chemicals we tend to carry in our pockets or stuff into a car on a sunny day. With nothing more than a label warning on a box you threw out the moment you opened it.

      If you read up on the method on how the cells work and other technology it may or may not put more confidence in you. Besides, systems fail and dangerous stuff is often carelessly misplaced or misused (I once discovered a Sidewinder missle on a beach). They're going to make it as soun

    • That's because people are paranoid whackos. At least most of them.

      Suppose this thing had a catastrophic failure. You might get a bit of liquid on your pants. It will feel a bit cool and if you wait a few minutes it will all evaporate leaving no trace.

      As for spilling it on your laptop, if you do so consider it an opportunity to wipe the grime buildup off your keyboard. You know all those expensive cleaning solutions? Guess what's in many of them.
    • >"wow, this thing is very dependant on technology just to be safe!"

      You should be hiding under your bed now, shaking, because this isn't very different from the modern lithium-ion batteries:

      The rechargable lithium-ion battery required nearly 20 years of development before it was safe enough to be used on a mass market level

      and

      Since the lithium metal [...] is very reactive and might cause explosion, Li-ion cells usually have built-in protective electronics and/or fuses to prevent polarity reversal, over-vo
    • What of the odds of those various sensors failing (and you know that they will for someone, somewhere) and what kinds of damage is caused when they do?

      You might want to avoid Lithium-Ion based batteries too. They are highly volatile, especially during recharge and require "intelligent charging systems" to charge safely.

      This thing doesn't sound any more complicated to monitor than standard battery technology.
    • good thing there seem to be multiples of these sensors
  • Forget about ever taking one of thes eon an airplane. Methanol is a self oxygenating liquid, I believe, so it is very volatile.
    Explain that to the airport police..."Really, it is a liquid fuel for my LAPTOP! Ow, that rubber glove doesn't help much for pain does it?"
    • They let you take alcohol on board. Not a lot of difference, really. Except that the alcohol usually comes in a bottle that, when broken, makes an excellent weapon. Far better than, say, an exacto-knife (box cutter in the US).
      • I was blocked from taking a plastic Slurpee cup through security because it might contain an acidic or poisonous fluid -- even though I was drinking from it at the time. I was told that I should go and buy a bottled drink from one of the stores in the airport if I wanted to take a beverage on the plane.
        • They are kind of wild with the rules, aren't they? I've never had trouble in Canada but when I go to the States two random search stations within sight of each other have actually BOTH searched my bags.

          Still, security is fine with hassling individuals, but they don't like to get too uptight with the real paying customers (business people).
        • I was blocked from taking a plastic Slurpee cup through security because it might contain an acidic or poisonous fluid


          What is this "might"? As far as I can tell, they all do...

  • So... Is anybody planning to make some kind of hybrid, that has both a battery and a fuel cell?

    In case you guys aren't planning to do so... Patent pending!
    • Hybrid is for weeners. I'm going to patent the gasoline & nitrous injection version!
    • You know i was thinking something close..

      you use the meth as a energy storage medium (as it has a higher energy density than Li) it would buffer power through a capasitor to power the laptop but if you plug it in it back charges and converts the waste back in to meth for use later - just like how we use Li batteries

      i am sorry but if i can't plug this thing into an outlet to charge it - it is well worthless
  • Amp hours per Kg? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cdavies (769941)
    The thing looks pretty big and heavy, I wonder how a similar size/weight Lithium Ion battery would stack up against it. Is the new technology really better at the moment?
  • by smug_lisp_weenie (824771) <cbarski.4503440@bloglines.com> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:44PM (#15438313) Homepage
    This fuel cell system weighs as much and is as large as a 1 Liter bottle of water... and gives 10 hours of charge?!

    Clearly you could have a Lithium ion battery that lasts many more (20? 30?) hours at the same size...

    ...and clearly there has not been any marked for a notebook with a clunky battery- The closest thing to a laptop ever released which emphasizes battery power over weight is the Electrovaya Scribbler [electrovaya.com]- I have the 300 model and can get well over 10 hours out of it!

    Maybe by the 3rd generation (and a decade from now) it will be able to compete with standerd batteries, assuming standard batteries haven't improved by then this technology might be worth a second look (which is unfortunately a possiblity, given the slow progress in battery technology)...
    • But....

      What do you do when your 10-hour Li-ion battery runs out and you're nowhere close to a power source for the next 3 days?

      Would you rather carry 10 of those 5-lb batteries, or one 5-lb fuel cell station and 10 ink jet cartridges?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I put the laptop away and enjoy the beach?
      • Why not recharge the batteries from a bio-nano-proteome technology that also runs on ethanol, or carrots, or beef jerky: human muscle power!

        I'll tell you why: a hand crank solution has no expensive consumables to sell to consumers over and over. Also, there's the social stigma of physical effort in public.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I don't think you critically read the article.

      Although the non-consumable portion of the fuel cell does make up some considerable bulk, the 10 hour runtime was generated by only 100mL of fuel.

      Put simply, by carrying a soda can-sized refill of methanol, there would be plenty of energy to run for over 40 hours.

      If they made this device as a modular power source with 12V output, it could easily be used right now with your choice of energy-efficient devices. I personally could envision using this device to powe
      • hello,

        welcome to slashdot, you are apparently new here.

        I don't think you critically read the article.

        People here don't even read the articles, much less in a critical fashion.

        Maybe you are not new here, and instead just confused. People here are very often critical of the articles that they have not even read... if so, please disregard my email, if not, please add me to your newsletter.

    • But you can recharge the fuel cell by pouring in some ethanol or whatever you bought from a store whereas you have to plug the lithion battery in for three hours. That is the benefit of a fuel cell, really.
      • But you can recharge the fuel cell by pouring in some ethanol or whatever you bought from a store whereas you have to plug the lithion battery in for three hours. That is the benefit of a fuel cell, really.

        No, that's the problem with fuel cells. You have to go out and buy stuff, whereas you can just plug in your laptop when you're not away from a socket (and power sockets are everywhere). You can use that laptop while it's recharging, you know.

      • Not it if it ends up like ink cartridges, where you pay a lot more for a lot less because you have no alternative, what with vendor lockin and all.

        Perhaps I'm just being pessimistic, but I don't see any reason this won't go the way of ink cartridges.

    • Maybe by the 3rd generation (and a decade from now) it will be able to compete with standerd batteries, assuming standard batteries haven't improved by then this technology might be worth a second look (which is unfortunately a possiblity, given the slow progress in battery technology)...

      Battery technology isn't getting better anytime soon. We've gone from lead to zinc to lithium metals in an attemt to get the most electrochemical potential for the least amount of space/weight. But we're out of periodic

    • A Li-Ion battery and matching charge controller/charge system that size would probably cost you about $5,000, too. I met this scraggly lookin' guy (looks like a BOFH of yore, actually) here in Lake County who claims to have designed the Corbin Sparrow, and he says he's got one that's got water-cooled LiIon batteries... And it's $45,000 worth of Lithium-Ion.
    • Yeah. I've got this laptop here. It can run for at least twenty hours on four AA batteries. Not very powerful or fast, but it gets the job done. http://www.dentaku-museum.com/hc/computer/m100/m10 0-2.jpg [dentaku-museum.com]
    • Sure a lithium battery as big as a couple bricks would last a very long time; however when you figure that it runs for 10 hours on 100mL of methanol and you can also pack in a 3L bottle of the stuff with your gear and run for 2 solid weeks it makes the fuel cell very attractive for certain applications.

      Why someone is not producing these for laptops even at their current size if they actually work seems absolutely insane to me.
      • Just think, I could take my laptop with me while camping! Too, with all that nasty methanol the fuel cell would make a nifty self defense weapon. I fully expect to see signs in all national parks saying "Please don't immolate the bears."
    • ENIAC was pretty big too... and I'm writting this on a computer on my lap while I'm on bed. Oh, the network is wireless, I almost forgotten to mention that.

      I rest my case.
  • If you can't wait until they release this thing, you can always try this [engadget.com].
  • Think of the multilayered implications of referring to something based on the chemical properties of distilled methanol and water "vaporware."
  • by cartman (18204) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:17PM (#15438614)
    Fuel cells have been promised for a long time now. As an example, I remember that a production fuel-cell car was promised by Mercedes to be available in showrooms by 2001...then 2004...then 2007...then 2009... And we still wait. And there are other examples: laptop makers have also repeatedly promised that fuel cells are right around the corner, with similar results.

    It appears increasingly unlikely that fuel cells will ever happen. Although fuel cell technology continues to improve, the improvement is very gradual. It's not clear that fuel cells are progressing faster than new battery technology, in which case the two will never converge.

    I should also note that the fuel cartridge (100ml) by itself, which powers the laptop for 10 hours, is not that much smaller than a battery. Even if toshiba drastically shrank the size of the surrounding electronics, making the entire cell the same size as a battery, it still would have no advantage. You would still have to carry around extra fuel cartridges (with methanol) for additional power.

    Bear in mind that you wouldn't be able to recharge the cartridge by just pouring in more methanol, or buying new fuel cartridges at a convenience store. Methanol is extremely poisonous even in very small amounts, and medically significant amounts are absorbed through the skin. Therefore the fuel cartridges will require expensive and durable equipment to prevent the leakage of any fuel whatsoever when removed from the laptop. Probably the fuel cartridges will be expensive and will have to be recycled and disposed of properly.

    • Same article, circia 1884

      Automobiles have been promised for a long time now. As an example, I remember that a production automobile was promised by Benz to be available in showrooms by 1880...then 1882...then 1883...then 1885... And we still wait.

      It appears increasingly unlikely that automobiles will ever happen. Although automobile technology continues to improve, the improvement is very gradual. It's not clear that automobiles are progressing faster than new steam technology, in which case the two will ne
      • Automobiles have been promised for a long time now. As an example, I remember that a production automobile was promised by Benz to be available in showrooms by 1880...then 1882...then 1883...then 1885... And we still wait.

        Err...What? Automobiles arrived before they were promised. There were no auto showrooms in 1880.

        It appears increasingly unlikely that automobiles will ever happen. Although automobile technology continues to improve, the improvement is very gradual. It's not clear that automobiles are

    • I've used solar cell arrays for portable engineering laptops as well, the only problem is they add to weight and work best if they don't get scratched. The ethanol you describe could be made at farms that produce biodiesel as well - I believe some states provide subsidies (low-interest capital cost loans to build them and tax breaks) to do so, other than my state (Washington) where I know it's been signed into law by the Governor. But methanol or ethanol both can be used to power laptops.
    • Bear in mind that you wouldn't be able to recharge the cartridge by just pouring in more methanol, or buying new fuel cartridges at a convenience store. Methanol is extremely poisonous even in very small amounts

      For political reasons the refillable ethanol based fuel cells already in labs in different forms can't be used - hence methanol. It's been more about regulation and the rules changing than practicality. Perhaps the next round of rule changes will make it so it will have to be butane fuel cells befo

    • Saw this bit, and it reminded me of something :-

      "As an example, I remember that a production fuel-cell car was promised by Mercedes to be available in showrooms by 2001...then 2004...then 2007...then 2009... And we still wait".
      Oh yeah, Microsoft Vista is what it reminds me of.

      Just shows, - ole Bill ain't the only boy who's takin' his time.

  • ...how many cycles per gallon does it get?
  • that this thing is too bulky, or too expensive, or not abusive enough from its petrol-consuming counterparts (yes electricity is petrol-consuming, not directly but indirectly, of course), i wait for the day when either the cost of your electricity is $1000s for your home and car because the supply has diminished to such a level there is hardly any left in the world anyway or we are so overwhelmed by the effects of globalwarming that we cannot go outside except in Tyvek suits and assisted-breating apparati a
    • that this thing is too bulky, or too expensive, or not abusive enough from its petrol-consuming counterparts (yes electricity is petrol-consuming, not directly but indirectly, of course), i wait for the day when either the cost of your electricity is $1000s for your home and car because the supply has diminished to such a level there is hardly any left in the world anyway

      Not likely to happen where I live, we have these giant hydroelectric dams here and up in Canada in the Rockies that supply 98 percent of o
  • windup (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zogger (617870)
    I sort of like the idea of a crank or windup clockwork spring generator for additional electrical supply, like the MIT laptop was originally supposed to have. If it is spring and clockwork, you don't have to wind for a long time, my baygen/freeplay [freeplayenergy.com] radios (they have flashlights, too) you can wind completely up in less than a minute, then they give 30 minutes radio. I know it wouldn't last as long with a laptop, but it would be *some* emergency power as your battery started to go. There's even a foot powered
  • He's the guy to whom the girl says: "Is that a fuel-cell laptop you're using, or are you just happy to see me".
  • FuelSell Power (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @06:21PM (#15439718) Homepage Journal
    "size, noise and weight"

    The noise from the fuelcell will disappear when microfluidics are used to pump the fuel and exhaust. That will also drop the size (volume), and even the weight. Though 0.792 specific gravity methanol will weigh about 792g (1.75lbs) in the liter capacity, so the total cell will probably continue to weigh about the same. Which is a lot less than the weight of 10h in electric batteries.

    A really interesting gain could come from integrating the cell reservoir with the rest of the volume of the entire notebook. Fill the spaces currently filled with air with fuel (protected of course by a tough insulating/nonflammable layer), and the overall volume of the notebook could remain about the same, especially considering the airfilled shockbarrier protecting LCDs. Clever engineering could circulate the waste heat in the fuel, much as modern car fuelpumps are cooled by the gas in the tank in which they sit. Really clever engineering could harness the waste heat to circulate the fuel not just to the heat exchangers, but also through the pump, for efficiency increase (and heat reduction).

    I expect that Toshiba is already testing its microfluidics version privately. PR like the BBC review will generate excitement for even a clunky first introduction. A quiet, smaller, lighter introduction will exceed those expectations and increase sales with even better reviews.

    Maybe the improvements will only come out from up Toshiba's sleeve gradually. They might patent them early, then introduce them to pump their sales curves. I don't believe they will introduce a noisy fuelcell as early as 6 months from now, so they surely have more than they're demo'ing. Which gives me more confidence that they're going to pull this one off.

    Now if it will just run on sake, and give massages, Toshiba will have retaken the "Personal Computer" from the dull interpreters who have made it a boring commodity.
  • This is really great. Because it runs on methanol, it's going to be fairly affordable [google.com] (at least for short trips to places without any electrical power and potentially very easy to refill - Methanol is also sold as "Wood Alcohol" at your local hardware store. The only real question is the concentration. Most DMFCs [wikipedia.org] (Direct Methanol Fuel Cells) need the methanol to be watered down. The best that I've seen are 99.5% (it had to use a means of recycling the water produced, as the methanol feed can't be more than
  • Great. Now you can contribute directly to global warming from the comfort of your own lap... ;-)
  • The packaging seems inconvienient. I would design it as a stand alone box
    with a cable to the laptop. This would mitigate problems of noise, fire hazards etc.

  • A cell that big doesn't prove much. I reckon you could get pretty good 'battery life' if you humped around a diesel generator.
  • Can methenol be produced by a tabletop device someone would buy with one of these? If not, I don't see any use for it. Anywhere you could buy a cartridge for it would also have AC power.

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